Josh Berry is set to return to Legacy Motor Club for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway.
Ahead of the race at Michigan International Speedway, Legacy Motor Club rookie Noah Gragson was suspended indefinitely by both NASCAR and his team amid the fallout from his “like” of an inappropriate meme on Instagram.
The 25-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native later requested to be released from his contract with the team, leaving the No. 42 Chevrolet without a confirmed driver for the remainder of the season.
JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry filled in for Gragson at Michigan, and the team called upon Mike Rockenfeller to compete in the two road course races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International.
Legacy Motor Club still needed to fill Noah Gragson’s seat for the regular season finale and the entire four-round, 10-race NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
While their playoff plans have yet to be confirmed, Legacy Motor Club have confirmed that Berry is set to return to the team for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway this coming weekend.
Berry is not playoff eligible, but a win in this 160-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval would lock the No. 42 team into the owner playoffs.
Berry has been the ultimate Cup Series super sub this year, having filled in for the injured Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman for a total of nine races at Hendrick Motorsports earlier this year. His success in that role led to Stewart-Haas Racing naming him the replacement for the retiring Kevin Harvick behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford next year.
Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek remains the most likely candidate to replace Gragson full-time next year amid Legacy Motor Club’s switch from Chevrolet to Toyota.
He has been viewed in high regard by Toyota since returning to the manufacturer in 2021, and his ties to GMS Racing make the move even more logical.
Legacy Motor Club was rebranded from Petty GMS Motorsports ahead of the 2023 season when Jimmie Johnson was added as a co-owner. The team formed ahead of the 2022 campaign when Richard Petty Motorsports and GMS Racing formed a partnership.
Nemechek was believed to be on his way to replacing Gragson next year even before the fallout from the social media controversy, given the latter’s poor performance in 21 starts this year.
The Coke Zero Sugar 400 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET this Saturday, August 26. If you have not already done so, begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!